SOURCEDVD copying fight lands
A US software company is fighting moves by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to have the sale of its DVD-copying software banned in the UK.
321 Studios said it would "vigorously defend" itself against the MPAA's claims that its software breaches the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 by allowing anti-copying protection of DVDs to be bypassed.
The MPAA, which is also fighting 321 Studios in the US over the issue of copyright, is seeking an injunction in the High Court next week against the company.
This would prevent 321's UK branch from selling its DVD X Copy software to UK users until a High Court judge rules on the issue of copyright at a full court hearing.
"We are actually quite excited about it because it brings us into the limelight. We feel we have a good chance of success," Rob Semaan, chief executive of 321 Studios, told vnunet.com.
Launching the MPAA's legal action through Warner Home Video UK, Jack Valenti, the organisation's president and chief executive, said in a statement: "No one should be under any illusions about the damage that this dangerous software would do to consumer choice and film-making."
But 321 Studios claims that an injunction would be unfair on consumers who use its software to back up their DVDs, and has called the case an important landmark for consumer rights.
"This approach is looking for criminal activity, [but] at the end of the day, why shouldn't consumers be allowed to back up and protect their DVDs?" said Margaret Briffa, lawyer for 321 Studios.
"Also, it means a lot of people who use the software to copy their home movies will be unable to use it. I think this case will go beyond a single judge sitting, and up to the secretary of state."